The Saints of Modern Art: The Ascetic Ideal in Contemporary Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Music, Dance, Literature, and Philosophy

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9780874517651: The Saints of Modern Art: The Ascetic Ideal in Contemporary Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Music, Dance, Literature, and Philosophy
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This group of essays and interviews offers a wide-ranging interdisciplinary inquiry into the nature of contemporary art and thought through the lens of a trend toward asceticism that Charles A. Riley II views as "a fundamental component of the psychological and ethical dimensions of the artistic and philosophical life." The views, practices, and works of artists like Brice Marden, Peter Halley, Jasper Johns, and Agnes Martin, composers including Philip Glass, Steve Reich, and Tan Dun, and writers such as Walter Abish and Seamus Heaney are intermingled with those of choreographers such as Pina Bausch and Merce Cunningham, stage directors including Robert Wilson, and architects including I. M. Pei, among many others.

Besides exploring the relationship between artists' life and work, Riley considers broader cultural issues such as the role of Classicism in contemporary art, the interaction of Western and Asian traditions, the rise of spirituality as a theme, and the paradox of asceticism, which implies a denial of the senses but in art involves an appeal to the senses. In the end, this suite of interrelated essays addresses in a fascinating and accessible way what Riley calls "one of the most vital (and misunderstood) creative forces in contemporary art, architecture, music, dance, literature and philosophy: the pursuit of perfection."

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From the Publisher:

6 x 9 trim. 17 illus. LC 97-43017

About the Author:

CHARLES A. RILEY II has written extensively for World Art, Art and Antiques, Art and Auction, Antique Monthly, Opera News, and Fortune magazines. He is author of Aristocracy and the Modern Imagination (UPNE, 2001), Color Codes: Modern Theories of Color in Philosophy, Painting and Architecture, Literature, Music and Psychology (UPNE, 1995), and coeditor of Preserving the Built Heritage (UPNE, 1997) and The Arts in the World Economy (UPNE, 1994). He is Associate Professor of English at Baruch College/CUNY

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Charles A. Riley II
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